The late Sandy Dawson began his career in education in 1963. He taught at the elementary and secondary schools in Canada, and at the university level in Canada, Portugal, Sri Lanka, and Hawai‘i. As well, he presented at many conferences and workshops in Canada, the USA, and internationally, on topics such as: preservice teacher education; inservice teacher education; mathematics teaching; the subordination of teaching to learning; the integration of mathematics and science across the curriculum; the enactive approach to teaching and learning; and ethnomathematics, in particular his work with native islanders from the FSM, Palau, Guam, CNMI, RMI, and American Samoa. He was the Director of the Simon Fraser University teacher education program—the Professional Development Program (PDP)—for ten years, 1985-1994.
Sandy co-wrote two books and a set of conference proceedings. He authored 7 book chapters, 10 research reports, 2 review articles, and was the guest editor for 2 different publications. The 50 articles he authored, and the 27 he edited, focused on mathematics education, teacher education, and computers in education. He made over 70 conference presentations around the world in Israel, South Africa, Spain, Portugal, France, the USA, and the UK. He produced two film series, one on mathematics education, and one on Logo. He received over $6.8 million in research and implementation grants primarily from the National Science Foundation for Project DELTA, Project MENTOR, and currently for the MACIMISE Project.
His international experience included work with the University of Hawai‘i, Griffiths University in Australia, and Oporto University in Portugal, as well as work with Sri Lankan educators both in Canada and Sri Lanka. The PME book he co-authored with Jaworski and Wood focuses on inservice education in mathematics from an international perspective. Sandy was instrumental in the development and delivery of Post Baccalaureate Diploma Programs in the area of the Connections between Mathematics and Science. He joined PREL (Pacific Resources for Education and Learning) July 1, 1999 as a senior Program Specialist in Mathematics Education, and Director for Project Delta, an $1.4 million NSF-funded project designed to provide inservice training for teachers of mathematics at the grades 4-8 level in the south and western Pacific, American-affiliated island communities of Guam, the Republic of Palau, the Republic of the Marshall Islands, the Commonwealth of the Northern Mariana Islands, American Samoa, Hawai‘i, and the Federated States of Micronesia (Kosrae, Pohnpei, Chuuk, and Yap). As that grant was completed, and a final report submitted in Fall 2002, the NSF awarded a second grant to PREL, with Sandy as the PI, for the MENTOR Project, a 5-year, $1.9 million grant that focused on providing mentors for novice teachers of mathematics across the Pacific region noted above. Following MENTOR, Sandy was the PI for the $3.4 million NSF-funded Project MACIMISE until he took ill in year 6 of the project.
Professionally, Sandy was elected to a 4-year term on the International Committee of the International Group for the Psychology of Education (PME) at its annual meeting in Norwich, 2002. In 2003, Sandy was Program Chair for the PME27/PMENA25 Annual meeting held July 13-18, 2003 Honolulu, Hawai‘i. His current appointment at the rank of Professor in the Institute of Teacher Education, College of Education, University of Hawai‘i commenced August 1, 2003, and he was granted tenure August 1, 2007. He obtained US Permanent Resident status in January 2006.
He lived with his wife, Sandra, his co-traveler to mathematics education conferences world-wide, and mother to their three children—a daughter and son who live in Vancouver, and a son who lives in Alberta—and seven grandchildren (4 boys and 3 girls). His eldest grandchild is 19 and the youngest is 5.